Decorated Vietnam War veteran Max Cleland, a former U.S. senator and former head of the Veterans Administration, today endorsed Democrat Larry Grant for Congress and announced he’ll come to Idaho Oct. 16 for a Democratic Party campaign dinner and rally in Nampa at the Idaho Center. Cleland lost both his legs and his right arm in a grenade explosion while serving as a captain in the U.S. Army in Vietnam in 1968, then went on to become an outspoken advocate for veterans and youngest VA chief ever. His political career included many years as Georgia’s secretary of state, and then as a U.S. senator. He also served on the presidential commission that investigated the 9/11 terrorist attack.
“Larry Grant is the type of Congressman our nation needs at this critical time in its history,” Cleland said in a statement. “We’ve got to get the country back on track, back on the long and steady road to being the country we can be proud of.” Grant responded, “I’m honored that Sen. Cleland is endorsing me. His legacy of service to the country is one that we should all strive for. He’s a genuine hero. It is the example of leaders like Sen. Cleland, like Sen. Frank Church, and President John F. Kennedy that fostered my interest in public service. Each of us has to give something of ourselves in order to keep our country strong and moving forward.”
Cleland is the latest national figure to take a hand in campaigning in the hot 1st District congressional race. Already, Vice President Dick Cheney has appeared in Boise at a fundraiser for Republican Bill Sali, and U.S. House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert campaigned for Sali at a breakfast fundraiser in Post Falls.